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With the growing popularity of the cloud, more and more companies are turning to it for their production sites. But what about cloud-based disaster recovery? Does it offer the same kind of benefits? As disaster recovery can be complex, time-consuming and very expensive, it pays to plan ahead to figure out just what your business needs. Putting your disaster recovery plan in the cloud can help alleviate some of the fears that come with setting it up.
Here are four big benefits to cloud-based disaster recovery:
The big difference between cloud-based disaster recovery and traditional recovery practices is the difference in RPO and RTO. With cloud-based DR, your site has the capability to recover from a warm site right away, drastically reducing your RPO and RTO times from days, or even weeks, to hours. Whereas traditional disaster recovery involved booting up from a cold site, cloud recovery is different. Thanks to virtualization, the entire server, including the operating system, applications, patches and data are encapsulated into a single software bundle or virtual server. This virtual server can be copied or backed up to an offsite data center and spun up on a virtual host in a matter of minutes in the event of a disaster. For organizations that can’t afford to wait after a disaster, a cloud-based solution could mean the difference between staying in business or closing its doors.
Cloud storage is very cost effective, as you can pay for storing only what you need. Without capital expenses to worry about, you can use “pay-as-you-go” model systems that help keep your TCO low. You also don’t have to store a ton of backup tapes that could take days or to access in an emergency. When it’s already expensive to implement a DR plan, having your recovery site in the cloud can help make it more affordable.
Putting your disaster recovery site in the cloud allows for a lot of flexibility, so increasing or decreasing your storage capacity as your business demands it is easier than with traditional backup. Rather than having to commit to a specific amount of storage for a certain time and worry whether you’re meeting or exceeding those requirements, you can scale your storage as needed.
Despite any myths to the contrary, having a cloud-based disaster recovery plan is quite secure with the right provider. Cloud service providers can argue they offer just as much, if not more, security features than traditional infrastructure. But when it comes to disaster recovery for your business, you can’t afford to take chances. Make sure you shop around and ask the tough questions when it comes to backing up your production site.
It should be noted that if you already have your production site hosted with one cloud service provider, it would be smart to host your recovery site with the same provider. That way, you can cut down on confusion and have a smoother failover process (should you need it) because you’ll have use of the same technology and staff that you already use for your production site. This is where you should look to a full IT service provider who can offer you what you need to keep both your production and recovery sites running smoothly.
If you’re thinking of moving to a cloud-based disaster recovery plan, there are some big benefits to be found. In a future post, we’ll talk about what kind of cloud is best for your business, whether it’s your production site, recovery site or both. For more information on cloud-based disaster recovery, learn more about cloud computing, read the benefits of disaster recovery in cloud computing, or read our disaster recovery white paper.